Stats don’t lie. But when liars use stats they can sure get close. When gun control advocates use national polls or analytic statistics to bolster their arguments, pay close attention to the source of the information. It usually is not from an unbiased polling company but rather a lobbyist group with a specifically stated purpose.
Which brings us to our next myth that needs to be cleared up: concealed-carry has no effect of stopping shootings. Those of us who have been in the concealed-carry community long enough know that this is patently untrue. There are countless stories every week of shootings and armed robberies being stopped by a citizen with a firearm. But according to groups like Mother Jones, not one mass shooting has been stopped by an armed citizen, and they had “statistics” to back them up. The problem? Their data only came from horrific events. There are many, many instances of attacks being stopped by an armed citizen, and it is precisely because they were stopped that they did not turn into a mass shooting.
Another argument often made by gun control advocates is that the second amendment was only meant to apply to the arms available at the time, that there was no way the founding fathers could have foreseen the capabilities of firearms today. There are many things wrong with this. First, firearm technology progressed rapidly during the lifetimes of the men who created the constitution. To say that they would not have the foresight to know that we would move beyond the muskets of the day is to discount the intelligence of these forward thinking men. Second, the language of the second amendment is intentional. There are no qualifiers, there are no exceptions made. The amendment is clear that we as citizens need to have access to the arms necessary to protect ourselves from the dangers of an oppressive government. It ensures that we do not become subjects of a military or totalitarian state like so many other nations.
There are many other elements of misinformation about gun control, like the belief that silencers completely silence a shot rather than bring the decibels down to safer levels, or that modern rifles are far more powerful that a WW2 era M-1 carbine. It is up to us to not lose our heads when those wish to debate the issue launch into attacks with one of these myths. By keeping cool and explaining what the reality of the situation is, we can help discourse be more than merely a shouting match. We may not bring someone around to being a staunch defender of the second amendment, but we can at least help them to understand why we believe that simply removing guns from the hands of the people is not the solution. By getting rid of misinformation, we can bring discourse within the country to a point where issues move forward rather than get mired in the muck of ignorance.